New Jersey’s residents pay more real estate taxes than residents of any other state. Like many states, New Jersey bases real estate taxes upon the municipality’s assessment of a property. However, due to the decline in real estate values, which occurred between 2007 and 2012, several properties have assessments that exceed their fair market values. In towns that have not been re-assessed or revalued for several years, an equalization ratio is applied uniformly to the entire municipality. However, due to changes in market trends between communities within a town, the failure to conduct regular revaluations or re-assessments inevitably leaves some properties with assessments that are substantially more than they should be.
Regardless of whether the property is over-assessed in a traditional sense, or whether the equalized assessment of the property is more than it should be, several property owners each year are forced to pay more than their fair share of taxes, unless a Tax Appeal is filed. Some counties, like Monmouth and Somerset require frequent re-assessments. However, some Counties like Union and Middlesex have several towns that have not been re-assessed in several years.
The New Jersey tax appeals lawyers at the Law Office of Michael D. Mirne take great pride in their high rate of success in reducing Real Estate Tax Assessments. Our office has represented clients in nearly 2000 tax appeals, very often on a contingency fee basis, reducing the assessments for over 70% of our tax appeal clients throughout the State of New Jersey. We have appeared for commercial and residential tax appeals before the State of New Jersey Tax Court, as well as the County Boards of Taxation in eighteen different counties. Since 2004, our firm has successfully reduced our clients' tax assessments by more than $77 Million. Our representative results include $1,500,000 in assessment reductions in Lavallette and over $8,000,000 in assessment reductions in Lakewood. Recently, we were successful in reducing the assessment of a shopping center in Somerset County by more than $2.4 Million. In 2019, we reduced assessments for our clients by more than $5 Million.
In 2008, Mr. Mirne became one of a select few attorneys to become certified by the State of New Jersey as a Tax Assessor. His training in appraising and tax assessments makes him a skilled negotiator and zealous advocate in trying tax appeal matters. New Jersey tax appeal attorney, Mr. Mirne also makes regular appearances before Real Estate and Investment groups, to provide seminars on tax assessments and procedures for appeals.
Most of our clients take advantage of our contingent fee arrangements, in which our fee is based upon a percentage of how much tax we are able to save for the client. Following a successful tax appeal, your assessment generally cannot be raised for a minimum of three years (the year of the appeal plus two additional years). This rule, known as the Freeze Act, is applicable unless the property is improved after the date of valuation or municipality undergoes a revaluation or re-assessment prior to the expiration of the 3-year period. Because the amount of real estate tax that you pay is a function of your property value, it is essential that you file a tax appeal if you think the municipality has over-assessed your property.
The appeal process starts with an application to either the County Tax Board or the State Tax Court. For the past several years, most appeals were due on April 1. However, due to recent change in law, most Monmouth County Tax Appeals are now due on January 15. Our firm will handle all filings and appearances before the County Tax Board or State Tax Court. The deadline for appeals on “added assessments” (i.e.; assessments for improvements made to properties after the October 1 assessment date) is generally due on December 1. Please contact us at least 3 weeks prior to the appropriate filing deadline in order to start the process.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that our tax appeal law firm works with a team of highly qualified appraisers, throughout New Jersey, who will not only prepare your report, but will also testify at your hearing if necessary to ensure that your property receives the proper assessment. Much of our success in winning our tax appeals is attributable to the knowledge and experience of our appraisers. Very often, the reports prepared by our appraisers are so persuasive that we receive settlement offers at the same value as the estimates prepared by our appraisers.